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Swim in serenity at these Cairns waterfalls

Arguably one of the most beautiful states in Australia, Queensland is a place teeming with natural beauty, from its palm-lined white sand beaches to the depths of the Great Barrier Reef and the boundless rainforests that line its breathtaking landscape

Amidst these ancient rainforests are rushing rivers, winding creeks and a plethora of awe-inspiring waterfalls. Journey with us through this tropical paradise as we uncover some of the best waterfalls near Cairns.   

Spring Creek Falls 

Located under an hour from Cairns, Spring Creek Falls is a hidden gem nestled within Mowbray National Park. The scenic waterfall, also known as Black Rock Waterfalls, is well worth the rocky 3-4 hour round journey that starts at the end of Spring Creek Road. There is no clear trail, but if you follow the creek, visitors will find a few smaller swimming spots before reaching the main attraction—Spring Creek Falls. The impressive waterfall cascades down moss-covered rocks, surrounded by ferns and vibrant flora, landing in one of the area's most popular watering holes, making it one of top visited waterfalls in cairns.

Location: Spring Creek Falls, Mowbray National Park, Queensland

A Person Standing On A Rock Over Spring Creek Falls Image Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

Millaa Millaa Falls 

By far one of the most famous waterfalls in Cairns, Millaa Millaa Falls is known for its plunging cascade and pristine watering hole, surrounded by lush vegetation. The waterfall is located one and a half hours from Cairns in Wooroonooran National Park and forms part of the waterfall circuit, which features two other spectacular waterfalls. As one of the most photographed waterfalls in Australia, Millaa Millaa Falls is a must-visit for all nature lovers and waterfall enthusiasts.

Location: Wooroonooran National Park, Queensland

A Group Of People Standing In Front Of Millaa Millaa FallsImage Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

Zillie Falls 

Zillie Falls, located a quick drive from Millaa Millaa Falls, is another stunning waterfall forming part of the waterfall circuit. Nestled amongst rich rainforest—this hidden gem is perhaps less popular than Millaa Millaa Falls but no less beautiful, with a serene single-drop waterfall flowing onto large boulders below. Zillie Falls features a viewing platform from the top, with a prime viewing spot at the waterfall’s base which can be accessed via a secret trail.

Location: Wooroonooran National Park, Queensland

A Man And Woman Sitting On A Rock By Zillie FallsImage Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

Ellinjaa Falls 

The final stop on the Millaa Millaa Waterfall Circuit is Ellinjaa Falls, another majestic Cairns waterfall that drops into a serene freshwater pool. This multi-tiered waterfall features a series of cascades that flow over rocks, creating a mesmerising display of water and rock formations. Ellinjaa Falls also features a hidden ledge, allowing visitors to admire this waterfall's beauty up close. With picnic tables and barbeque facilities available, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better lunch spot than this. 

Location: Wooroonooran National Park, Queensland

A Person Standing In Front Of Ellinjaa FallsImage Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

Stoney Creek Falls 

Stoney Creek Falls is only a 20-minute drive from Cairns, offering an easy escape to nature away from the bustle of the city. The Cairns waterfall is ideally located within Barron Gorge National Park beneath a beautiful green canopy. While Stoney Creek Falls isn’t the biggest waterfall in the area, it does provide the perfect spot to take a refreshing dip. The walking trail takes just 25 minutes, taking visitors through lush rainforest, before arriving at the idyllic Cairns waterfall. 

Location: Barron Gorge National Park, Queensland

A Woman Sitting On A Mat at Stoney Creek Falls Image Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland

Hartleys Creek Falls 

Set within the heritage-listed Wet Tropics Rainforest less than an hour from the city, Hartleys Creek Falls is last on our list of top waterfalls near Cairns. This tranquil oasis near Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures is a popular watering hole amongst locals and adventure lovers, offering a beautiful waterfall as its backdrop. The waterfall is located along Hartleys Creek Falls Track, a 7.5km rainforest walking trail that takes around 3 hours return.

Location: Wangetti, Wet Tropics Rainforest, Queensland

Hartleys Creek Falls Image Credit: Tourism and Events Queensland